Monday

25th Sep 2017

EU commissioner calls for Ukraine accession promise

  • Klitschko (r) showed Kozhara photos of police throwing molotov cocktails and firing shotguns at crowds (Photo: securityconference.de)

The EU commissioner who, over the past five years, tried and failed to get Ukraine to sign up to pro-EU reforms has said only the promise of accession can change former Soviet states.

“If we are serious about helping this part of Europe to transform, the association agreement is only the first step. The next one should be the light at the end of the tunnel. You can’t transform this part of Europe without using this most powerful instrument [enlargement],” former Czech diplomat Stefan Fuele told a congress of European and US security chiefs in Munich on Saturday (2 February).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Romanian President Traian Basescu backed him up.

“You can’t just invite them to associate with the EU, but say: ‘Yes. But this does not guarantee you will ever get into the EU’,” he said also in Munich.

He noted the EU needs even more leverage than it did in, say, pre-EU Poland, because public opinion on the EU is split in former Soviet states such as Moldova or Ukraine.

“The EU needs to be more firm,” he said.

For his part, Vitaly Klitschko, a leading opposition MP in Ukraine, who also attended the Munich event, told press he felt “stronger” for the political support.

Munich delegates had earlier greeted his remarks with booming applause, when the former boxer said: “The protesters are on the streets with pro-European banners because they fear European values are dying in their country.”

They greeted remarks by Ukraine’s acting foreign minister, Leonid Kozhara, whose government is suspected of murders and torture, with silence.

Klitschko said that, in the short term, the opposition needs EU sanctions on Ukrainian officials to pressure them to call early elections.

“They enjoy European cars. They send their children to Europe to study. They receive medical treatment in Europe. They live in Europe, and this would be very painful - personal sanctions against people who violate human rights,” he noted.

He described their assets in EU banks as “blood money.”

Neither the promise of an EU perspective nor EU sanctions on President Viktor Yanukovych’s administration are a likely prospect for now.

Fuele instead offered that EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton could “facilitate” talks between the regime and the opposition.

Meanwhile, Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former US national security advisor, said the solution to the Ukraine crisis lies in Washington and Moscow as much as in Brussels or Kiev.

“The US and the Russian Federation have to talk to each other about this because the issue involves the larger dimension of European stability,” he told the Munich event.

He also urged the EU be more “assertive,” however.

Brzezinski noted that German President Joachim Gauck one day earlier had said Germany should assume a greater role in EU foreign and defence policy.

He called Gauck’s speech “remarkable.”

“This has a tangible meaning here [on Ukraine]. The EU’s conversation with Ukraine … will involve money,” he added.

Opinion

Waking up to reality on Ukraine

It is high time the EU came up with a Plan B for Ukraine after the collapse of its feeble Plan A last November.

Ashton off to Kiev with new financial offer

EU foreign affairs chief Ashton is going to Kiev to offer money in exchange for a political solution to the crisis, as the number of pro-sanctions EU countries grows.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel wins fourth term, exit polls say
  2. EU to hail 'aspirations' of former Soviet states
  3. UK says credit downgrade was wrong
  4. Dutch state appeals ban on taking air-polluting measures
  5. May proposes 2-year transition period after Brexit
  6. May to call on EU's 'sense of responsibility'
  7. Catalonia has 'contingency plans' for independence vote
  8. Last German polls confirm Merkel's lead

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EEEU Finance Ministers Agreed to Develop New Digital Taxation Rules
  2. Mission of China to the EUGermany Stands Ready to Deepen Cooperation With China
  3. World VisionFirst Ever Young People Consultation to Discuss the Much Needed Peace in Europe
  4. European Jewish CongressGermany First Country to Adopt Working Definition of Antisemitism
  5. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  6. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  7. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  9. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  10. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  11. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  12. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel